The Top Ten Things to Consider when Talking to your Child’s Teachers

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A teacher writing on a blackboard.

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A teacher can be very good to your child and also mistreat your child. They are the person who is really in control when you are not present, so you want to speak to them tactfully and with respect. Remember if you alienate them, they might alienate your child. Here are a few helpful tips:

10. The teacher is not in charge of your home. If your child is not behaving themselves at home, thats your responsibility. Telling the teacher that Tommy does not behave at the mall really does not matter to her if his classroom behavior is fine. Stick to classroom issues.
9. Never ask a teacher to feed your child. Sure you can mention to them that Tommy has poor eating habits, but remember, Tommy is one of many children. If the teacher stops to hand feed Tommy so does the rest of the class. Give Tommy lots of food options and remember Tommy will eat when he is hungry.
8. Never interrupt a lesson to talk to the teacher. Unless it’s an emergency, call or leave a note for her to call. You may even speak to one of the assistants. When you interrupt the lesson you are teaching your child that the lesson is unimportant, and if you think its unimportant, so will they.
7. Never expect a teacher to be your child’s babysitter. In school environments teachers are not responsible for lost items such as sweaters, lunch boxes, or show-and-tell toys. While they may help you look for it, it is not their responsibility. Remember they are paid to teach your child, not pick up after them.
6. Never ask the teacher to separate your child from another. Part of being a child is learning how to socially interact with other people. If your child is having a problem make the teacher aware of it and don’t cross the line of saying that you demand your child not play with Tommy anymore. Teacher’s cannot keep children separated nor is it fair to ask.
5. Never ask a teacher about another child. It is none of your business to know what the deal is with any child but your own. If you observe that Tommy has some issues, as long as Tommy is not your child, it’s not your business.
4. Never pass a teacher without saying hello. Teachers are with your children all day. It can make someone feel special to just take a moment to say, "hello, how are you?" This is one small thing that can make a teacher feel appreciated.
3. Never Accuse, Always Ask First. If Tommy comes home and tells you that the teacher put him in time out for no reason, ask her the next day in front of Tommy. You don’t want to barge in there and demand information about your Tommy. By listening rationally, you will get the answers you want and everyone will be happy.
2. Similarly, Never go over the teacher’s head before discussing the situation with her first. If Tommy came home with a bruise nobody told you about, discuss it with the teachers before you speak to the Director. The Directors are not in the room with Tommy all day. If the teacher has no explanation or is defensive then you take it to the next level.
  1. Talk your kids teachers with like they are your friends! If they love you, your kids will almost definately get better attention. Also, they deserve it because they are caring for our precious children. Even if you are upset with them, speaking with courtesy and respect can often solve problems easily.

Above all else, remember that teacher’s are not God’s. They do not see all, hear all, or know all. Sometimes they make mistakes, and sometimes they forget things. Remembering they are human and treating them with continued respect is the key to a successful relationship with any classroom teacher.

Here are some resources about taking to teachers:

How Can I Talk to My Child’s Teacher? from the National Education Association

How to Talk to Your Child’s Teacher by By Lela Davidson

Talking to Your Child’s Preschool Teacher from KidsHealth.org

How To Talk To Your Kid’s Teacher by Kate Lawler

Talking to Your Child’s Teacher or Caregiver from the Illinois Early Learning

Talking to Your Child’s Teacher About Standardized Tests from KidSource.com